lim joe→∞

Teaching, Mathematics and Teaching Math.

Posts Tagged ‘Opinion’

The Trifecta

Posted by forumjoe on September 28, 2010

I don’t post about Ultimate much, because although I’ve been playing regularly over this past year, it seems to be automatic. I don’t do anything worth posting about, I’ve just been plugging away trying to improve the spirit of myself and my team and win games where we can.

But this week something special has happened, and I thought I’d tell you all how I feel about it. Last monday, 20th September, my TUC team (Bread) won the championship. The highest level of Ultimate played in Tasmania, and it was a wonderful game. Everyone gave it their best, everyone played awesomely, and it came down to Golden Goal at the end, which we won. Whether it was good luck or good management, who knows?

Then, last Sunday, my team (Gender Across) took out the premiership of the Indoor League. Again, a stupidly close and hard-fought game. It didn’t quite come to Golden Goal, but the pressure from UTAS was on right until the end, and they really forced me to step it up and play my best ultimate. To top off this excitement, we won Spirit. That truly is what I strive for in a league, so to be able to win Spirit and the league makes me really, really proud of a team that was randomly thrown together.

And last night, The Workers Party (a team I coordinate and captain) won the Uni vs Workers challenge, twice-a-year challenge game. Once again, Golden Goal. Once again, there was so much luck in a game like that it’s impossible to take credit for it. But the feeling of having won all three finals/challenges that I’ve played in this last week is exhilarating. I’m feeling like I’m playing my best Ulimate ever at the moment, and I really hope, pray and cross my fingers, that this good streak will continue to the Two-Hat, in 10 days time.

Special thanks to Jase and Maz, who shared all these victories with me, and special commiserations go to Huddy and Eliza. Huddy is definitely one of the “good guys” in Tassie ultimate, and I know it’s very frustrating for him to play in so many finals and walk away with nothing. But the UTas team has come along in leaps and bounds, and that’s all thanks to Huddy. We’ll miss ya, boyo. Good luck in Launceston.

Finally, I’m about to think about other aspects of the sport, specifically the volunteering/community aspect. There’s no doubt there’s a lot of dissatisfaction around at the moment with various admin/committee/management groups. I’m not sure what I can do to change that, but I can’t let it affect me do what I can for the community. Rule-Of-The-Week has been great, and I’m looking to build on that for Spring league. Last I heard, we were still looking for a Spring League LO, so I’ve just put my hand up for that too.

I’m really looking forward to a great summer of Ultimate!


Posted in Ultimate | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Minority Report interface

Posted by forumjoe on August 29, 2009

I don’t often post random links that I find elsewhere, but this one really tickles my fancy.
One film that consistently resonates with me years after viewing is Minority Report, for two reasons. The story was kind of ho-hum, but every time I’m stuck in traffic, I think of the traffic system from the film.

You can’t help but realise the system is so much more efficient (resource-wise and time-wise) than our current system, but there’s no doubt it would require a lot of infrastructure change. The biggest problem with this transport method is that there’s no middle-path between the current cars-and-busses situation to this future situation. The infrastructure would need to be built from scratch, and the costs would just be too much. Maybe I should be a transport engineer.

But anyway, this rambling post is actually about the OTHER thing from Minority Report that I constantly think about. Whenever I have to deal with a windows button-on-toolbar interface (which is every day, really) I wonder if Tom Cruise was onto a good thing.

It looks cool, it looks slick, it looks EASY and he manages to bring up and compare a lot of information in a short period of time. In short, it’s impressive. Especially to someone who once dabbled in interface design. But really, is it better?
This question could best be asked as “Wouldn’t the character be better served by a keyboard and mouse interface?”. You can probably tell from the way I phrased that question that I think the interface is a bit silly. And yet, unlike the transport problem posed earlier, this one actually has an obvious path from current-tech to future-tech. Already, Apple and Mozilla (and probably countless others) are introducing the idea of “Gestures” to control Browsers and other applications. It’s not new technology, but it hasn’t really taken off for a myriad of reasons. But if the beginning steps aren’t taking off, what makes anyone think that the final destination (if the Minority Report can be considered the ‘final destination’ in the continual evolution of cutting edge Interface Design) will be more efficient (resource-wise and time-wise) than a modern WIMP GUI?

Don’t let that stop anyone from trying though. Some guy has taken the next step towards a true gesture-based interface using Flash and FLARToolkit. Looks impressive, sure. Looks innovative, yes. But do we really want the way we interact with computers to be this muscularly intensive in the future? Maybe I should be an interface engineer, I’d quite like that.

PS. Maybe I’ll just pose this question to my ICT Class and see what interface-prototypes they can come up with.

PPS. Yes, this long and rambling post is just a glorified way to post a cool link I found, which I try not to do.

Posted in Gaming | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Teaching ICT? Or Teaching -WITH- ICT?

Posted by forumjoe on July 10, 2009

I guess this early point is the best time to clarify the distinction between Teaching ICT skills and teaching WITH ICT.

ICT Integration
ICT Integration into the regular classroom is something that every teacher should strive for. Teaching critical computer literacies like how to save documents, how to open files, how to browse the web, etc shouldn’t be restricted to the ICT classroom. They should be taught in English, SOSE, Maths, etc. IMHO students are much better off learning graphing and spreadsheets in their Maths and Science subjects than they are in a specific Computing subject. I’ll elaborate on this later.

Skills everyone needs to survive the modern world
So when looking at ICT Skills, I try to distinguish between the things that everyone needs in the modern world, and things that those people working in “computing” need. The former are things like wordprocessing, information parsing, how to run a spellchecker, how to backup documents. The latter are things like Programming, Photoshop, Databases, etc. I’m lucky in my current position as ICT Coordinator and the teacher of the Computing elective that I have some control over both these aspects, and can determine what goes where. It’s nice in theory.

The Dilemma
But then I get into my Computing elective class, and I find students who don’t have the basic computer literacies required to backup, to open a file, etc. Obviously, I’m responsible for teaching those skills too. So this becomes a dilemma.

Now what?
The point of this prose is just to clarify what I’m talking about in future posts on this blog. As an ICT Coordinator, I’m responsible for integrating ICT into the every day curriculum, to ensure that all our students leave the school with the basic computing skills they need to survive this world. And as an ICT Teacher, I’m directly responsible for teaching those more advanced students about the possibilities that extra computing skills will open up. So I will talk about both in this blog, because both are relevent to my current position.
However, teaching the Computing elective is what I struggle with more frequently, day-to-day. What do I teach? How do I teach it? What resources are available to help me? Those are the main questions that I created this blog to help answer. Anything else is bonus.

When I talk about “Teaching ICT” I’ll be referring to where the content is actually ICT related. When I talk about “Integrating ICT” I’m talking about teaching basic ICT Skills in other subjects. The blog will probably be much more about Teaching ICT, but I’m sure topics related to Integrating ICT will get touched as well.


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